Tenmyouya Hisashi’s Sub-culture Icons with a Japanese Aesthetic

by CaroPosted on

These works by Japanese artist Tenmyouya Hisashi represent uniquely Japanese aesthetics, mixed with modern, vulgar depictions of sub-culture icons. His paintings of vehicles and Gundam samurai on gold leaf are only a few characters he’s refashioned in the styles of his predecessors. By combining traditional Japanese symbols, his paintings have a spirit that is old and contemporary at the same time. At his website, Hisashi describes some of his pieces as “flashy, exotic, punkish, rude and frivolous”. He calls this revival of traditional Japanese painting style “Neo-Nihonga”. Another element of his art is its attitude; a rebellion against authority and the art system. Other series draw upon the stereotypes foreigners hold of Japan and are intended for a foreign audience. Today, his art continues to evolve. His current show at Mizuma Art Gallery, “Rhyme”, is an extravagant take on the Samurai aesthetic from the Nanboku and Sengoku dynasty eras.